Saturday, November 18, 2006

Apple Cup Memories

Since 1979 I've only missed watching, listening or attending one Apple Cup game. Though I've mellowed with time I still get pretty intense when Apple Cup Saturday rolls around.

I've had family, friends and fraternity brothers who've attended the ewe, good people all, but as teams and fans go I hate 99.9% of them, with a passion. But this isn't about me spewing the evils of Muttlake, this is about going back in time and remembering some of my best memories of Apple Cups past.

1982 (7th grade)- Myself and a few friends got in general admission and then quickly snuck into the students section where all the fun was. It was cold my friends but the majority of Coug fans were feeling no pain :) I remember the energy build to kickoff and when the Cougs took the field they surprised us by changing out of their gray pants and wearing all crimson, the crowd went nuts. We had a brutal year and all the mutts had to do was make quick work of the Cougs and it was off to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl. The whole game the Cougs took the mutts best shot and hung in the game, even holding the lead late in the game. The excitement shared all game was replaced by gloom as the mutts rolled out their All-American kicking machine Chuck Nelson to put the mutts ahead late to clinch the game and bring heartbreak to the Cougs again. The stadium held its collective breath as he approached the ball and there was little to no sound as the ball floated towards the field goals....OH MY GOD HE MISSED IT !!! and Martin Stadium freakin shook. To say we went nuts is an understatement, most rushed the field but we headed for the tunnel to the lockerrooms to bask in the victory and taunt the mutts. I remember the cheerleaders crying as we hurled insults and laughed at them, mostly I recall one of the mutt lineman trying to charge into the crowd to exact a bit of revenge, which only made the taunts increase in intensity. The crown jewel of the day was that I got a pair of sweaty wristbands from a WSU player...I didn't take them off for weeks :)

1988- Not having tickets I decide to watch the game from the Compton Union Building (CUB), so amidst the bitter cold I watched in warmth from right next door to the stadium. The Cougs were down at half and the temp was dropping, it did not look good.
Walking around the CUB I bumped into a friends mom who had had enough of the cold and offered me her ticket. Who was I to refuse? So dressed in only sweats I headed off to see the second half. Her ticket was amazing, having connections in the athletic department the seats were basically 50 yard line 30 rows up right in with WSU athletic coaches and staff. It was not long until they noticed me and my lack of winterized wardrobe and then head basketball coach Calvin Sampson offered to have my sit in the press box where it was a bit warmer. But I wanted to be in the mix so I politely declined, so they immediately set forth on a campaign to gather blankets on my behalf...A true Coug moment...Grateful for the blankets I settled in for the second half to start...and then it happened, the sign to all Coug fans that this day would go our flake and then two, Martin stadium erupted and Mother Nature smiled on the boys from the Palouse 32-31. Walking home after the game I remember this mutt fan cursing us...the usual insults, all we could do was laugh, to think they got beat by a bunch of hayseeds.

1992- I was living in Oregon and for the Apple Cup I went to a friend from Pullman's house. He had long since converted his roommates into honorary Cougs. So with Beer and chips we were ready to enjoy. Gametime arrives and my friend turns to the appropriate channel and there it was in all its glory.... Martin Stadium blanketed in snow. My friend and I went nuts and proclaimed the game OVER, his roomies were confused but we quickly explained that the mutts whined about the snow. We were right and Drew Bledsoe and the boys crush ewe dumb.

It has been too long since I've actually attended a WSU game, let alone an Apple Cup...but this heart still beats for my Cougs!

I attended 2 WSU-Oregon games while at UofO, there was never a question of loyalty. As an old friend that was playing for WSU said to me when I saw him on the field after the game and told him I went to UofO, but root for WSU he knowingly said "Once a Coug, Always a Coug".

Go Cougs !!!


At 7:25 AM, Blogger Lief said...

I didn't see or hear the game but based on the final score I bet that one hurt.

At 2:42 PM, Blogger William A. Smith said...

correcto mundo cousin. Can't say I'm surprised, the huskies out hustled and showed from the start they wanted it more. The Cougs gave up three games ago, once they became bowl eligible they folded their tents. Cougar Nation is licking its wounds and hoping the head coach steps down. Anyways congrats to you and the rest of the husky fans I know *gulp*


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